Last year certainly was a game changer

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HAYES IN THE HOUSE: By John Hayes

A year ago David Cameron, in his New Year Prime Ministerial message to the nation, said: “We can make 2016 a game changer for our country.”

Although I am certain that he was not predicting the future his referendum provoked, the British people have indeed “changed the game”.

The people’s decision to vote to leave the European Union produced the greatest political earthquake of my lifetime.

That Britons, seeking to take back control of our affairs from the increasingly unaccountable, unnecessary and unwanted EU, frustrated the wiles of the bourgeois liberal establishment delights me.

At last, the voice of people that GK Chesterton said had “not spoken yet” has drowned out the whines of those that sneeringly deride a class they regard as ‘unenlightened’.

Brexit was not the only “game changer” of 2016; the election of Donald Trump in America elevated a businessman with no experience of public service to the most powerful elected office that exists. His success or failure will affect the whole world.

The shocks of 2016 were not limited to politics – from the extraordinary triumph of Leicester City to Ed Balls’ emergence one of Britain’s favourite dancers – we’ve enjoyed a remarkable year.

Perhaps the lesson of the various events of 2016 is that the fu – unpredictable. That shouldn’t come as a revelation, yet it’s easy to be fooled by the idea of inevitability; to imagine that what lies ahead is predetermined, be it in the world of politics, football or indeed in personal lives.

We can prepare for things we cannot predict by being resilient and resolute. Thinking this, I reflected upon the words of another former Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, who said in her message of 1982 that the best New Year’s resolution is resolution itself – “determination, born of the conviction that the course we are following is the right one.”

In the year ahead we will hear much from the faint hearted and the weak minded about the risky unpredictability of a future outside the EU. We must remain firm in our conviction that we made the right choice, resolute that the path our nation has chosen is the right one and confident that our best years lie ahead of us. In such a spirit of hope, I wish all of my constituents in South Holland and the Deepings a peaceful and joyful New Year.